Autonomy names Robert Youngjohns as senior VP and general manager

By Peter Gothard
10 Sep 2012 View Comments
robertyoungjohns

HP has announced the appointment of Robert Youngjohns to run its Autonomy software arm, ending a search that began in June after the sudden departure of Autonomy founder and CEO Mike Lynch.

Youngjohns previously worked at Sun Microsystems, IBM and cloud software company Callidus.

Further reading

Since HP acquired the Cambridge-based data analysis software company in October 2011, HP has struggled, posting an $8.9bn (£5.6bn) loss for its third quarter figures in August this year. 

Although HP's reports showed that software sales increased by 18 per cent in this period – possibly in no small part to the Autonomy purchase – the overall figures are sure to be of concern to the business.

The acquisition of Autonomy alone cost HP $10.7bn, with an added assumption of debt, and HP's CEO Meg Whitman is already known to be critical of Autonomy's operating quality, being quoted on HP's blog, in reference to the third quarter results as saying: "Autonomy still requires a great deal of attention and we've been aggressively working on that business."

Whitman had already told allthingsD.com in June that although HP "fed Autonomy a huge number of deals," she felt the company "didn't have a system for accepting those deals, and closing them". 

HP has since added a global dashboard system to help keep track of pending sales, as well as working on its after-sales service tactics. 

The acquisition, as well as the decision to spin off of HP's PC business, was made by then-CEO Léo Apotheker, who departed the company only a month after the August 2012 announcement, and was replaced by Whitman. 

George Kadifa, executive vice president of HP Software, said of Youngjohns' appointment: "Robert's background of strong business and leadership excellence makes him ideally suited to lead this business."

He added: "I am excited to see the guidance he will bring to our Autonomy/IM business and the insights and perspectives he will add to the HP Software leadership team." 

Play.com's CIO recently informed Computing that the ecommerce company, which is currently working on a revamp of its site, considers itself a "guinea pig" for Autonomy's new software and technologies.

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